Friday, May 10, 2013

No More Than Heart and Soul

1Samuel 16:7 - ..."Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the LORD does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart."

I wish I could point out how many times it is written that God uses the weak, uneducated, base, lesser, etc., individuals to promote Himself. What does this tell us? Proverbs is filled with words on pride and fools and our own highly inflated interpretation of ourselves.

Israel wanted a king. They were tired of the priests judging the people. They wanted to be like all the other nations. Isn't that so like the world? We want to be like the next person, the next country...or better. Have more, be bigger, more influential. Power, wealth, notoriety. All those things that God looks down at.

So Israel wanted kings. And God gave them to her. Not all the kings were 100% dedicated to God. So God was angry at Himself (sort of) for having chosen Saul as king. He started out fine but ended up disobedient and God took away his power. He knew who He wanted and He went for it.

David was the next in line. Samuel, the last judge of Israel and prophet, was to anoint him behind Saul's back. He went, by God's orders, to the family of Jesse to meet all his sons. One after another they came before Samuel. After meeting the first son and noticing his grand appearance, God spoke the scripture above. Isaiah prophesied that Jesus would come through the lineage of Jesse: there shall come forth a Rod (Jesus) from the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots. (Isaiah 11:1).  David needed to be chosen as part of God's plan.

After seeing those sons of Jesse, none of which were right for the job, and knowing God had a son of Jesse who would be king, Samuel asked if there were more. Jesse replied there was another, his youngest son, a shepherd. He was called to come forward from his sheep. When Samuel saw him God told him to anoint him for he was the one, David. There was absolutely no indication that Samuel thought otherwise. He just did as he was told!

The power of God left Saul and he required comforting. It was suggested that David be brought in to play his harp because he would be able to relieve his stress...and the LORD was with him. Thus began God's plan of introducing David as Saul's replacement as king.

David was young, a shepherd, not built up in the things of war. He tended sheep, played a harp and his weapon of choice was a slingshot. What kind of man like this could be used as king? Only God knows! God did not look at the outward appearance, for sure, but at his heart. It was his heart, totally devoted to the LORD, that God wanted. He was someone God could use to do miraculous things.

Saul took to David immediately and raised him up from a shepherd to an armor bearer for him. The favor of God and Saul were upon him. And so the story of David defeating the giant Goliath came to be, when all others saw the size and strength of this man and fled out of fear and David stepped up to slay the Philistine.

The phrase the bigger they are the harder they fall seems to fit this situation so well. That term is nearly biblical! Pride comes before the fall...or the humble will be raised up while proud brought down. Do you see it? God is not interested in who we think we are but who He can be in and through us. Our strength or wisdom means nothing unless it comes through Him.

We can make ourselves to be people whom others think are the cat's pajamas. God see us so differently. When we give all ourselves to Him He will use us immeasurably. Not that it will be some big accomplishment, though. If all He did was huge things in our lives I think we would go back to being all puffed up...believing we accomplished.

God is so the opposite of the world view. When will we come down off our high horses and submit to the One who knows best? After all, He did the one thing unthinkable by today's standards. He came to earth to live among sinners so He could show Himself to us--yes us, sinners--that we might know Him. He knew from a very young age (even from the beginning of time) that He would die for each of us. And He withstood the most horrific rejection and death...all for us. He totally humbled Himself. He allowed Himself to be covered in our sin so He could die for it. He bore our sins and He carried them to the cross where they were then nailed. And all He wants in return is for us to acknowledge Him as that humble, yet powerful through obedience to the Father, Man, that we might have Him and His power within us.

Jesus Christ is the same today as He was then. He created the world with no more than His words. He lived, He died and He rose again. That means He is alive today and still looking for those willing to humble themselves, admit their sins and weaknesses and come to Him for their strength, wisdom, comfort and true life.

When will you do that? When will you let go of physical strength and allow God's supernatural strength to take over? David was small in stature but he knew where his strength and wisdom lay, through the LORD God. And despite his indiscretion, God's judgment, David's loss and eventual total repentance, He remained a man after God's own heart. God looks not at the outward appearance but the heart. Turn your heart over to Him and watch what He will do. Not by our own strength but by our trust in God's power.

Psalm 147:6,10-11 - The LORD lifts up the humble; He casts the wicked down to the ground. He does not delight in the strength of the horse; He takes no pleasure in the legs of a man. The LORD takes pleasure in those who fear Him, in those who hope in His mercy. 

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